(June 8, 2018 / JNS) Jewish civil-rights advocate Kenneth Marcus was narrowly approved by the Senate as the next Assistant U.S. Secretary of Education for Civil Rights.
Marcus, who founded the Louis D. Brandeis Center for Human Rights Under Law, which fights to promote the civil and human rights of the Jewish people, was approved for the position by the Senate in a 50-46 vote, with no Democrats voting to support his nomination.
Several liberal and pro-Palestinian groups had lobbied against Marcus’s confirmation, targeting him for his efforts to combat the BDS movement on campus, as well as his support for adopting a working definition of anti-Semitism. Other liberal groups had criticized Marcus for his stances on sexual assault.
Nevertheless, several mainstream Jewish groups supported Marcus and lobbied for his confirmation.
Alyza D. Lewin, LDB’s Chief Operating Officer Director of Policy, praised the Senate confirmation.
“This is a momentous occasion not just in the fight against anti-Semitism, but against all forms of prejudice and hate. In his past work in the Office of Civil Rights and through the founding of the Louis D. Brandeis Center, Kenneth has continuously demonstrated his abilities as both a leader and a charismatic force in the fight against bigotry.”
Marcus had formerly served in a similar position as Assistant Secretary of Education for Civil Rights during the George W. Bush administration.